For almost a year I have been contemplating a legal gender change.
It all started with a mischievous exploration. My girlfriend has a Green Card, and I don’t, and being an immigrant can be kind of scary sometimes, even if it’s all legal and squared away. So instead of eternally waiting for this “gay marriage” thing to boil over, why not bypass the entire system and change my gender? (*) Yet slowly this vague proposition began to congeal into a viable possibility.
My full legal name and legal gender are still used everywhere – IDs, official documents, passports, credit cards, health insurance, lease, airline miles programs. Basically everywhere I go which constitutes an “official” transaction of some sort will involve my legal name, which is enough to gender me as Ms. or ma’am. Somehow it always involves my legal gender as well, which 99% of the time is irrelevant to the situation, but there it is regardless.
As I continue further into my path of transition, it becomes increasingly bothersome. It “outs” me, begging more questions than necessary. It causes embarrassment and shame. It prompts me to avoid certain situations; something as commonplace as a credit card transaction to buy lunch stirs unnecessary worry.
Where there is anguish, there is a problem, and one must seek a solution. I’ve come to feel that being stuck in this “female” category sucks. If I could get my way, I’d choose Neutral. But I can’t. Forced to choose, I’d choose the designation “male” over “female” any day.
This may seem like very obvious choice now, but it’s been simmering for a while. Countless times I’ve had to wrestle with myself. Initially it was difficult to justify why I’d want to go through so much trouble for something that is ulitmately not going to take me where I want to be. I am not a man, nor am I “male” – transmasculine, perhaps. But then, is where I am really any better? How much do I need to justify wanting to be [classified as] male over not wanting to not be [classified as] female?
At this point in my transition, being forced to “out” myself as female rather than male is just doing me no good. It’s demoralizing, as if I haven’t advanced at all. My transition is rendered pointless, nonexistent, invalid.
Being male, at least on paper, is a step in the right direction.
(*) After some research, we learned that obtaining a federal marriage would not be advantageous to me getting a Green Card, because my girlfriend is not a US Citizen so the process takes about as much as if I were to wait and get it through my job. Thus the original conundrum is no longer a point of contention in this matter. Regardless, I still relish in informing people that I am skipping around the law when it comes to marriage.